A Yemeni man reached on the island described the situation there as “very bad.” (AP Photo/Abdullah Morgan)
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Cyclone Mekunu pounded the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea Thursday morning, lashing it with heavy rain and strong winds as the powerful storm remained on path to strike Oman this weekend.With winds gusting up to 160 kph, meteorologists expected the "very severe" cyclone to strike Oman Saturday near Salalah, the sultanate's third-largest city and home to some 200,000 people near the country's border with Yemen.It said gusts from the storm will likely reach 190 kph by Saturday.Over a roughly 100-year period ending in 1996, only 17 recorded cyclones struck Oman.The last hurricane-strength storm to strike within 60 kilometers of Salalah came in May 1959, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's archives, and was categorized as a Category 1 hurricane, meaning it only had winds of up to 152 kph.
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